The Mississippi State football program could lose another non-conference game soon.
The governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has formally asked the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University to suspend football and other contact sports this fall. This request comes after an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in people aged between 20-39 in the state.
Mississippi State is set to open the 2020 football season against the University of New Mexico on Sept. 5.
“I know what I am asking you to contemplate is difficult and unprecedented, but these are difficult and unprecedented times,” Grisham wrote in a letter to both schools. “Fighting COVID-19 is a team sport.”
New Mexico, a Mountain West team, lost a game against Southern Cal off its schedule when the Pac-12 opted for a conference-only schedule. New Mexico State has a Nov. 21 visit to Florida on its schedule.
Holes to fill
If the New Mexico game is postponed or canceled, Mississippi State will be down two non-conference games this fall.
The Bulldogs already lost their game against Alabama A&M, which was set for November 21, when the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) postponed all of its fall sports to the spring.
Multiple conferences have already postponed their seasons to the spring, including the Ivy League, Patriot League, MEAC, A-10 and CAA.
Officials in the Southeastern Conference met last week but decided to wait until later in the month to make a decision regarding football schedules. The start of other fall sports – volleyball, soccer and cross country – were postponed through at least Aug. 31.
In the Power Five, the Big Ten joined the Pac-12 in shifting to a conference-only football schedule this fall.
MSU does not have a Big Ten or Pac-12 opponent on its schedule.